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Article: Sequencing rules and coherence in discourse

TitleSequencing rules and coherence in discourse
Authors
Issue Date1991
PublisherElsevier BV. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/pragma
Citation
Journal Of Pragmatics, 1991, v. 15 n. 2, p. 111-129 How to Cite?
AbstractThis paper examines sequencing rules governing conversational organization. First, it argues against Levinson's (1983) position that it is impossible to formulate sequencing rules such as the one governing an adjacency pair which states the expectation of a certain speech act following the occurrence of a given speech act. Levinson (1983) argues that question can happily be followed by a range of speech acts other than answer. The present paper points out that while it is true that a question is not necessarily followed by an answer, it does not follow that the rule does not apply: it states what is expected to occur, not what actually occurs (see Berry 1982). I argue for the descriptive power of the sequencing rules governing an adjacency pair by demonstrating how they provide a basis for the interpretation of sequences which deviate from the adjacency pair sequence, and how they are deliberately violated to give rise to conversational implicature. Second, the paper points out that not only is there a rule governing what is expected to occur, but there is also a rule governing what is allowed to occur if the discourse is to be coherent. The rule governing coherent sequences is labelled the Coherence Rule, which states that in order for an utterance to form a coherent sequence with the preceding utterance, it must either fulfill the illocutionary intention of the latter, or address its pragmatic presuppositions. I argue for the existence of this rule by demonstrating that firstly a violation of this rule results in incoherent discourse which is noticed and attended to by interlocutors, and that secondly, a violation of this rule can usually be accounted for. © 1991.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/178108
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 1.118
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.153

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorTsui, ABMen_US
dc.date.accessioned2012-12-19T09:42:56Z-
dc.date.available2012-12-19T09:42:56Z-
dc.date.issued1991en_US
dc.identifier.citationJournal Of Pragmatics, 1991, v. 15 n. 2, p. 111-129en_US
dc.identifier.issn0378-2166en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/178108-
dc.description.abstractThis paper examines sequencing rules governing conversational organization. First, it argues against Levinson's (1983) position that it is impossible to formulate sequencing rules such as the one governing an adjacency pair which states the expectation of a certain speech act following the occurrence of a given speech act. Levinson (1983) argues that question can happily be followed by a range of speech acts other than answer. The present paper points out that while it is true that a question is not necessarily followed by an answer, it does not follow that the rule does not apply: it states what is expected to occur, not what actually occurs (see Berry 1982). I argue for the descriptive power of the sequencing rules governing an adjacency pair by demonstrating how they provide a basis for the interpretation of sequences which deviate from the adjacency pair sequence, and how they are deliberately violated to give rise to conversational implicature. Second, the paper points out that not only is there a rule governing what is expected to occur, but there is also a rule governing what is allowed to occur if the discourse is to be coherent. The rule governing coherent sequences is labelled the Coherence Rule, which states that in order for an utterance to form a coherent sequence with the preceding utterance, it must either fulfill the illocutionary intention of the latter, or address its pragmatic presuppositions. I argue for the existence of this rule by demonstrating that firstly a violation of this rule results in incoherent discourse which is noticed and attended to by interlocutors, and that secondly, a violation of this rule can usually be accounted for. © 1991.en_US
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherElsevier BV. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/pragmaen_US
dc.relation.ispartofJournal of Pragmaticsen_US
dc.titleSequencing rules and coherence in discourseen_US
dc.typeArticleen_US
dc.identifier.emailTsui, ABM: bmtsui@hkucc.hku.hken_US
dc.identifier.authorityTsui, ABM=rp00062en_US
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltexten_US
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-0004840290en_US
dc.identifier.volume15en_US
dc.identifier.issue2en_US
dc.identifier.spage111en_US
dc.identifier.epage129en_US
dc.publisher.placeNetherlandsen_US
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridTsui, ABM=7006812714en_US

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